Kevin Hart, John Lithgow, Ann Dowd, Damon Wayans Tapped In ABC’s Live Reenactment of ‘Diff’rent Strokes’
Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel's Emmy-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience series is returning with episodes of Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life, according to a late-night announcement by ABC.
The one-night-only reenactments of the iconic American television programs will air Dec. 7 on ABC with a star-studded cast that includes Kevin Hart playing Arnold, succeeding Gary Coleman and Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) as Willis, succeeding Todd Bridges.
“Other than with my family, there’s no place I’d rather be in my 100th year than on a soundstage at Sony with these glorious actors reliving what our company had produced all those years ago and sharing it with the millions of viewers who could use a little laughter,” Lear, who’s still a towering presence in the television industry, says to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to Hart and Wayns, the list of A-listers is long, including Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell and others as producers.
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If you’re unfamiliar, the franchise, which was originally started by Kimmel, first started back in 2019, and also included the upper echelon of stars like Viola Davis, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Hudson, re-creating memorable episodes from Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons.
Lear and Kimmel would later partner with ABC and Sony Pictures Television to roll out a second installment featuring another All in the Family episode along with a re-creation of Good Times.
“Jimmy and Norman have outdone themselves with a spectacular, irreverent and hilarious cast to once again create a can’t-miss television event,” ABC Entertainment (and Hulu Originals) president Craig Erwich, with Sony Pictures Television Studios president Jeff Frost and co-president Jason Clodfelter adding in a joint-statement to THT: “As Norman Lear approaches his 100th birthday, what better way to celebrate him than bringing back these classic shows.”